Christian Stan, at 4 Jun. 23, in Boutique Hotels, Hotels, News

Discovering the perfect winery to support and potentially joining their wine club can be a challenging task amidst the vast array of options along Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo, CA (SLO CAL), where more than 250 wineries await. So how do you make the decision? One helpful approach is to filter your choices based on eco-friendliness and sustainability.

Spanning the SLO Coast Wine region and Paso Robles Wine Country, SLO CAL is home to nearly 50 wineries that have obtained sustainable certifications. But what exactly do these certifications entail?

  1. Regenerative Organic Certification: This distinction, coined by Patagonia®, evaluates three key pillars—soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. Tablas Creek Vineyard in SLO CAL is the sole winery currently certified at this level and serves as a global model for others, including local wineries such as Villa Creek Cellars and Robert Hall Winery.
  2. Certified Biodynamic: This global standard certifies that a grower follows biodiverse practices that involve soil management and livestock integration. These wineries adhere to organic practices and also respect the interconnectivity of the planets and the four elements—earth, fire, air, and water. The lunar calendar guides their activities, ensuring optimal timing for fruiting, rooting, flowering, and leafing. Examples of wineries in SLO CAL that embrace these practices include Verdad Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard (Slide Hill), Chamisal Vineyards, Castoro Cellars, and Ambyth Estate.
  3. Organic Certification: This certification guarantees that products are free from pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. The regulations for organic certifications vary globally, and while some wineries may follow certified organic farming practices, they may not display organic seals on their wine bottles due to additional bottling regulations, such as sulfites. Stephen Ross Wine Cellars, Booker Winery, sixmilebridge, and Turley Winery are a few of the certified vineyards in SLO CAL.
  4. Certified Sustainable: This certification comes from various boards, such as SIP (Sustainability in Practice) or CSWA (California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance). Certified sustainable wineries adhere to minimum standards, including water management and energy efficiency regulations. Notable wineries at this level include Center of Effort, Edna Valley Vineyards, Talley Vineyards, DAOU Family Estates, Cass Winery, and Villa San-Juliette.
  5. LEED Certified: This certification relates to green architecture. In the SLO CAL wine region, Shale Oak Winery and Niner Wine Estates boast LEED-certified tasting rooms and landscapes, with gold and silver certifications, respectively. At Niner Wine Estates, a bank of solar panels powers electric vehicle charging stations, promoting sustainable practices.
Allegretto Vineyard Resort.

Stay A While

Better yet, stay a night at a winery! SLO CAL has plenty of boutiqueluxury or even RV (see Cava Robles) spots to hitch up for the night. But how about staying over amongst the vines. Maybe not for the faint of heart, it will be just a few of you out among the vines in wine country. Sound up your speed? Consider checking out these vineyard villas:

• Allegretto Vineyard Resort – Find a serene paradise in the rolling hills of Paso Robles at Allegretto Vineyard Resort. Enjoy a glass (or two) of wine while taking a vineyard tour, on horseback, in a private poolside cabana or post-spa service. Guests can savor some of the finest regional wines including Allegretto’s own private label. Allegretto truly transports visitors to a Tuscan-inspired getaway without even leaving the U.S.

JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery.

• JUST INN – Enjoy the elegant, natural beauty of California’s Central Coast at JUST INN, an on-site hotel at JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery. Guests can choose to stay in a JUST INN Suite, the exclusive and equally expensive Chateau at JUSTIN (we’re talking $12,000 a night, and you can’t even book right now) or Vintners Villa – all of which are surrounded with vineyard views. An overnight stay includes a bottle of JUSTIN wine, breakfast and complimentary tasting and turndown service.

 Cass Winery 

• Geneseo Inn – Located on the Cass Winery estate, surrounded by 145 acres of breathtaking vineyard views (especially at sunset). Enjoy one of eight apartment suites in the vines with amenities like the vineyard breakfast, a farm-to-table organic garden-supplied way to start your day. There are also a host of activities provided on the operation, like horseback riding, beekeeping lessons, cooking classes and much more! 

• CaliPaso – Hidden in the east side of Paso Robles, find a haven with one of seven luxurious private residences at CaliPaso. The elegant architecture will transport you to Europe while you indulge in the oak-soaked countryside accommodations, just minutes to whatever SLO CAL town you have eyes for that day!

However you prefer to experience SLO CAL, sip confidently knowing your beverages were responsibly sourced and the fruits of our SLO CAL labor can be enjoyed for generations to come.

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